One of Melaka‘s signature food is Chicken Rice Balls, which is nothing but Hainan Chicken Rice served using rice shaped like a ping pong sized ball. And a trip to Melaka wouldn’t be complete without having Chicken Rice Balls unless you are a frequent visitor.
There are two famous restaurants at Jonker Street specializing in this unique food, Hoe Kee and Chung Hwa. The first thing I had as soon as I arrived in Melaka was Hoe Kee’s chicken rice balls for lunch, at 4.30pm!
According to the parking attendant we met at Jonker Street’s open car park, one of the restaurants is famous for its Hainan Chicken while the other well known for its rice. At that time we didn’t know which restaurant he was referring to, we know now after trying both.
Hoe Kee’s Hainan Chicken is definitely more tender, with smooth slippery skin and better presented if compared to Chung Hwa’s. I found the taste to be quite distinctive in a good way too, different from the usual chicken rice we eat in Penang or KL and Ipoh’s bean sprouts chicken.
Since we were planning to try as many food as we could, we only ordered five chicken rice balls. Each rice ball costs twenty cents, yeah you didn’t see wrongly – RM0.20! While the chicken cost RM8 for two people’s portion, totaling RM9 for the meal.
The rice balls are just like normal chicken rice, cooked using chicken stock as well but hand-shaped into balls. I remember when I ate at Hoe Kee 5 years ago, the rice balls would break when picked up. This time, they didn’t break at all.. Hmm, maybe they found a way to make the rice balls hold better.
Dark soya sauce and some awesome chili sauce, which can be poured from a bigger container.
A restaurant filled with lots of nostalgic feel like this is uniquely available in Melaka only. The empty marble table on the right was where we sat. While eating, I also noticed that the locals prefer the normal rice more to the rice ball. I guess chicken rice balls are really attractive to tourists, even if they don’t taste as nice lol.
Within the restaurant is a spacious hall with more seats and an open roof. I think I should have sat here instead to get better lighting for my photos.. it’s sure brighter here! As you can see Hoe Kee is still doing brisk business although it was way off lunch hour, too early for dinner too.
Where the chicken rice is prepared. And followed by some random shots of the restaurant.
Hoe Kee Hainan Chicken Rice restaurant can be found at the start of Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat), next to the new San Shu Gong shop which sells traditional biscuits, candies and stuff. Oh, do you notice the paper cut out of Ah Xian? Man, he’s everywhere lol. I don’t know how the other chicken rice shops in Melaka fare, but as far as chicken rice go Hoe Kee is quite darn good. Must try lah.Hoe Kee Hainam Chicken Rice Ball,
4, 6, 8 Jalan Hang Jebat,
p/s: don’t tell me you need a map ok lol, it’s at the insanely famous Jonker Street!